Former Auburn golfer Blayne Barber spends a little time with a young fan Sunday at the Barbasol Championship
By Charles Goldberg
OPELIKA, Ala. ― Blayne Barber finished the Barbasol Championship the right way Sunday. He birdied the final hole. He tipped his cap to the "War Eagle" that greeted him as he marched up the 18th fairway.
Barber, who was an All-American golfer at Auburn in 2011 and 2012, gave his fans something to cheer about in the final round, climbing to second before finishing in a tie for 10th, his fourth Top 10 finish on the PGA Tour this year.
"It was such a great week to be at home and play in front of so many people that I love and friends and family and local support," Barber said.
Barber made his move in the tournament won by Scott Piercy at Grand National at the Robert Trent Jones Trail course. That's not Auburn's home course, but it was close enough for the fans who came to cheer Barber.
"I feel like I played well. I feel like I left a lot of shots out there," Barber said.
Still, Barber said the tournament could be another step forward.
"Last week I was able to be home and practice and kind of sharpen some things up a little bit and hopefully this starts a four-week stretch for me," he said. "Hopefully, I can get a little bit of momentum and get moving in the right direction."
Barber knew he was making a move Sunday, but just how much?
"I didn't look at a leaderboard until I got later in the round and so I didn't know," he said. "I figured starting off hot I was probably close."
Barber was consistent through the week, shooting 69-67-68-68 -- 272, seven shots behind Piercy.
Barber said playing in front of people who know him was extra pressure.
"It normally seems like when you play in front of a bunch of support that you play well. Maybe it's a comfort level. It can add pressure, for sure, but I think it just allowed me to enjoy the week, just enjoy everything and I feel like I played well because of that," he said.
Barber said the PGA stop was a success.
"I was hoping, especially being a first-time event and getting the community involved, I didn't know how it would be, but the amount of people that came out and watched every day was just awesome. I'm very thankful for everyone that came out. A lot of 'War Eagles' and saying 'good shot' and stuff, so it was great."
All-American Auburn sophomore Ben Schlottman and Web.com money leader Patton Kizzire, who graduated from Auburn in 2008, each missed the cut.